VANCOUVER,B.C. – Mounties say they are moving in to extract Greenpeace protesters who have spent the last day and a half hanging from a Vancouver bridge to block a tanker carrying crude oil from the Trans Mountain pipeline.
North Vancouver RCMP Cpl. Richard De Jong says an aerial extraction team began the process of removing and apprehending the protesters on the Ironworkers Memorial Bridge on Wednesday afternoon.
RCMP are in the process of apprehending and removing the protesters that have been suspended off Iron Workers Bridge. Public safety is the priority, both for the protesters and for the police. Updates to follow as event unfolds.
— North Vancouver RCMP (@nvanrcmp) July 4, 2018
The protest began on Tuesday morning when activists rappelled off the side of the bridge to block the Serene Sea, a vessel loaded with crude oil that left from Kinder Morgan Canada’s Westridge Marine Terminal.
Jesse Firempong with Greenpeace says the protest was focused only on the Serene Sea but the authorities responded by closing all traffic to tankers in the area.
De Jong says about 12 protesters were on the bridge or hanging from it and Mounties will consider recommending charges of mischief and jeopardizing the safety of a vessel.
Earlier Wednesday, Premier John Horgan said he was concerned that protesters may be blocking a tanker loaded with refined fuel destined for Vancouver Island, but he added activists have a right to protest as long as they are not breaking the law.
(THE CANADIAN PRESS)